Public Officers Pay Adjustments (2004/2005) Bill

 

Bills Committee on

Public Officers Pay Adjustments (2004/2005) Bill

 

1. The Bar confines its consideration to whether the exclusion
in clause 3 of the captioned Bill is sufficiently wide to cover all judicial
officers.

2. The provision in clause 3(1) seeking to exclude judicial
officers from

the operation of the captioned Bill is in the following terms:

"This Ordinance does not apply to (b) the pay or
allowance of a judicial officer - (i) holding a judicial office - (A)
specified in Schedule 1 to the

Judicial Officers Recommendation Commission Ordinance (Cap 92); or (B)
known as Senior Deputy Registrar, High Court; or (ii) appointed by the
Chief Justice."

3. The provision in clause 3(1) encompasses most, but
not all, judicial officers.

4. The provision in clause 3(1) does not include the Registrar
of the Court of Final Appeal, who is obviously a judicial officer, performing
functions under the rules of the Court of Final Appeal, such as examining
the merits of applications for leave to appeal and taxation of costs.
The position at present is held by a legally qualified person. However,
the Registrar of the Court of Final Appeal is appointed by the Chief Executive,
not the Chief Justice but that position is not specified in Schedule 1
of the Judicial

Officers Recommendation Ordinance. This omission should be remedied by
the introduction at the Committee Stage of a clause 3(1)(b)(i)(C) in the
following terms: "known as Registrar of the Hong Kong Court of Final
Appeal".

5. Consideration should also be given to amend Schedule
1 of the Judicial Officers Recommendation Ordinance to include in it the
office of Registrar of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal.

6. The provision in clause 3(1) might not include all
members of the Lands Tribunal appointed pursuant to s 4(4) of the Lands
Tribunal Ordinance (Cap 17). The reason is that such members are appointed
by the Chief Executive but Schedule 1 of the Judicial Officers Recommendation
Ordinance only lists the following description: "Member of the Lands
Tribunal (being a member who

is in full-time service of the Government)". It may be that the description
in Schedule 1 is an attempt to make the distinction between a member appointed
under s 4(4) and a member appointed on a temporary basis by the Chief
Justice under s 6A of that Ordinance. The Bar takes the view that there
is an ambiguity that needs to be clarified.

Date 29th July 2003

Hong Kong Bar Association